Raspberry Crumb Cake

I awoke this morning expecting a warm, sunny, clear and bright spring Brisbane morning but what I encountered was quite the opposite; dark, cloudy, moody, sullen, cold and windy with rain on the way.   Mmm…excuse me mother nature but I have raspberries to cook with today and your weather mood is of no assistance whatsoever. 
I returned to the kitchen and stared aimlessly at my cute little red raspberries wondering what I was going to do with  them.  In my mind it felt like I had hundreds of recipes that would have perfectly suited a warm spring day, I could have whipped up a raspberry parfait, raspberry sorbet, or even a raspberry ricotta tart but now none of these suggestions will do…now I am craving something comforting, something homely, something that will warm me up and cuddle me through a cold dreary day and it needs to be the perfect partner to a cup of tea and a good book!  Ah ha!  I’ve got it!  A raspberry crumb cake!  It is perfect!  The smell of cake baking in the oven is a sure fire way to lift my bad weather spirits and crumb cake is a cup of tea’s best friend.   
So off I set.  I pulled out my favourite crumb cake recipe and made just a few simple adjustments.  I started by replacing the blueberries with raspberries and then added limoncello to the batter to give that extra lemony fresh kick.  I wanted to up the ‘raspberry factor’ further so I found some rapsberry jam in the fridge and swirled it through the cake batter.  For a final flourish I added extra raspberries and crumble to the top of the cake before finally putting it in the oven. 

Once in the oven I was reminded again why I love baking crumb cakes so much.  Not only do they smell absolutely gorgeous when baking but they combine the best of the cake and crumble worlds.  On top of the beautifully light, fluffy, vanilla spiked cake is a gorgeous crunchy topping made of sugar, flour and butter spiked with just a hint of warming cinnamon.  And the crumble eliminates the need for icing…once baked the only thing left to do is lightly dust the cake with icing sugar and serve with raspberry spiked cream.  Pure homemade comfort perfection.  K xxx

Raspberry Crumb Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Blueberry Crumb Cake recipe
Crumble topping:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, chopped into cubes
For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup limoncello
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Butter and line a 22 centimeter round baking pan.
For the crumble:
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter in a bowl.  Rub butter into mixture until combined and set aside.
For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, sour cream and limoncello. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined.  Fold in half of the raspberries and stir gently.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife.  Place 3 tablespoons of raspberry jam on top of the batter and use a knife to marble the jam through the batter.  Top with remaining raspberries and crumble the topping evenly over the batter.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

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